May 24, 2023
BANGKOK – The Thai private sector, including major corporations, SMEs, and small businesses, is urging the coalition government in waiting to postpone its campaign promise to raise the minimum daily wage to 450 baht
They argue that labour costs already account for approximately 25% of total expenses for employers, especially SMEs, and this increase would further burden businesses.
Additionally, businesses still recovering from the Covid-19 crisis are calling for measures to curb rising electricity costs, which are contributing an extra 5% to their overall expenses. Sombat Hongpaitoon, CEO of KT Restaurant, a subsidiary of Singha Corporation’s Food Factor, highlighted the importance of addressing rising utility costs.
Alongside the private sector, the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) is advising the next government to carefully review the plan to raise the daily minimum wage to 450 baht.
Tawatchai Setjinda, chair of the TCC’s economic development committee for the Central region, expressed concerns that the proposed increase would primarily benefit migrant workers, as most Thais are employed as skilled labourers. The Move Forward Party, which won the May 14 general election, has pledged to raise the daily minimum wage to 450 baht nationwide within the first 100 days of taking office. Currently, the minimum wage varies across provinces, ranging from 328 baht to 354 baht after the most recent wage hike implemented in October last year.